CAMBRIDGE – Jim Yong Kim’s appointment as World Bank president may have been predictable, given the long-standing tradition that renders the selection an American prerogative. But even the appearance of competition between Kim and the other candidates, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and José Antonio Ocampo, served to expose a deep fissure within the field of development policy, because Kim and his two rivals represented dramatically different approaches.
The vision for which Kim stands is bottom-up. It focuses directly on the poor, and on delivering services – for example, education, health care, and microcredit – to their communities. This tradition’s motto could be, “Development is accomplished one project at a time.”